The Zebulon star system was first investigated 20 years ago by an unmanned exploration probe launched by Truane's Star. This probe indicated that Volturnus was the only inhabitable planet in the Zebulon system. It also indicated that great mineral wealth might exist on the planet in the form of molybdenum, tungsten, gold, and other heavy metals. Truane's Star soon made a legal claim to the ownership of Volturnus, and completed exploration of a star route to the Zebulon system one year ago.
The first manned expedition to Volturnus from Truane's Star was launched nine months ago. The four member team of specialists was instructed to set up an outpost, gather data on the possible colonization and mining of Volturnus, and report back.
After passing into the star system, the starship carrying the specialists was never heard from again. The four members of this lost exploration expedition were:
|Commander Louis V. Jameson, Truane's Star Military Exploration Force
||RACE: Human ||HEIGHT: 1.9 meters ||WEIGHT: 88 kg. ||AGE: 43
||SKILLS: 4th level computer
||BACKGROUND:||22 years service Truane's Star military forces; combat veteran, Truane's Star Medal of Valor; commander two previous
|Geeko-sur-Mang, professor of geology, Capital University
||RACE: Yazirian ||HEIGHT: 2.1 meters ||WEIGHT 50kg. ||AGE: 52
||SKILLS: 4th level computer
||BACKGROUND: ||Recognized authority in geophysics, specialist in planetary crust formation
|Itklikdil, cartographer, Vrusk Atlas Manufacturing Corporation
||RACE: Vrusk (female) ||HEIGHT: 1.5 meters ||WEIGHT 85 kg. ||AGE: 32
||SKILLS: 6th level environmental
||BACKGROUND:||Ph.D., Capital University; experienced explorer and cartographer; loaned to exploration mission by employer in exchange for
rights to produce maps of Volturnus.
|Grod, technician, Truane's Star Civil Service
||RACE: Dralasite ||HEIGHT: 1.3 meters ||WEIGHT: 65 kg. ||AGE: 85
||SKILLS: 5th level all skills, Technological Primary Skill Area
||BACKGROUND:||Developer, hydro-magnetic stabilization system in Dralasite air cars; author, ''The Metaphysical Foundations of Dralasite Morality''
Truane's Star has found itself short of personnel and funds due to colonial troubles and associated police action on Cygnus Omicron IX recently. They have hired you, a team of unknown adventurers, to mount a relief expedition to Volturnus. Your mission is to explore Volturnus, gathering as much information as possible about mineral deposits, life on the planet, and other items of interest to future colonists. You are also to find and rescue the members of the original exploratory mission if possible.
The government has provided you with a minimal amount of equipment, and transportation to Volturnus aboard the starliner Serena Dawn. After dropping you on Volturnus, the Serena Dawn will return in three months to transport you (and, with luck, the original exploration team) back to Truane's Star.